Visual Search and Attention in Five-Year-Old Preterm/Very Low Birth Weight Children

C.J.A. Geldof, J.F. de Kieviet, M. Dik, J.H. Kok, A.G. van Wassenaer, J. Oosterlaan

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: This study aimed to establish visual search performance and attention functioning in very preterm/very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) children using novel and well established measures, and to study their contribution to intellectual functioning. Methods: Visual search and attention network efficiency were assessed in 108 VP/VLBW children and 72 age matched term controls at 5.5. years corrected age. Visual search performance was investigated with a newly developed paradigm manipulating stimulus density and stimulus organization. Attention functioning was studied using the Attention Network Test (ANT). Intellectual functioning was measured by a short form of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Data were analyzed using ANOVAs and multiple regression analyses. Results: Visual search was less efficient in VP/VLBW children as compared to term controls, as indicated by increased search time (0.31 SD, p=04) and increased error rate (0.36 SD, p=02). In addition, VP/VLBW children demonstrated poorer executive attention as indicated by lower accuracy for the executive attention measure of the ANT (0.61 SD, p<.001). No differences were found for the alerting (0.06 SD, p=68) and orienting attention measures (0.13 SD, p=42). Visual search time and error rate, and executive attention, collectively, accounted for 14% explained variance in full scale IQ (R
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-988
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number12
Early online date21 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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